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Jegihorn Klettersteig


Published by Stijn , 25 August 2014, 21h57.

Region: World » Switzerland » Valais » Oberwallis
Date of the hike:18 August 2014
Via ferrata grading: D
Waypoints:
Geo-Tags: CH-VS 
Time: 5:30

The Jegihorn (or Jägihorn) Klettersteig is the highest via ferrata in Switzerland, summiting at 3206 m above sea level. Still, access is relatively easy, thanks to the Hohsaas cable car, or (as we did) with an overnight stay at the SAC Weissmieshütte.
 
First the bad news: the difficult "Zitterpartie" variation (which included the wire bridge) was destroyed by a rock fall in 2012 and still hasn't been repaired. Very few descriptions on the internet mention this, so we actually didn't know this until we were on the via ferrata. I had planned to do the normal route together with my brother Mats, then climb back down to the secondary summit (P. 3093) to do the difficult variation on my own, but plan proved completely superfluous. I contacted the IG Klettersteig Saastal, and mountain guide Beat Burgener responded that they are planning to reconstruct the wire bridge for the summer of 2015. However, given that the Zitterpartie variation has been in disrepair for two years already, I'm slightly sceptical about whether that is actually going to happen.
 
The good news is that the normal route of the via ferrata is in good condition and very much worth doing on its own. You could even argue that this provides a much purer via ferrata experience, without 'adventure' elements such as the wire bridge or the net that could previously be found on the variation. The normal route also follows a nice line along the ridge from P. 3093 to the main summit. Even the more extreme via ferratisti, though they might be momentarily disappointed by the missing Zitterpartie variation, will find plenty to enjoy on the normal route.

The Jegihorn via ferrata is a proper alpine via ferrata, not only with respect to the scenery, but also regarding the climbing itself. You get a lot contact with the rock, as there is not much iron drilled in the mountain. Only on the most difficult sections, a few iron pegs are sparingly provided. There are a couple of short ladders as well. Nothing is overly difficult, but there are very few easy sections as well. The result is 2.5 hours of very enjoyable via ferrataing at a grade of K4.

The views over the Saastal, with its many 4000ers, are simply fantastic. Thanks to our early start from the Weissmieshütte, we have the entire panorama to ourselves as well.

The descent from the Jegihorn summit is along the normal route (T4), sometimes over boulder fields, at other times on a rather dusty path. The descent is marked white-blue-white, but you still have to pay a little attention if you don't want to stray from the path.

We take the cable car down to Saas Grund and travel on to Saas Almagell, where we have lunch in a restaurant. Afterwards we take the cable car up to Furggstalden and follow the Erlebnisweg, an adventure path (T3) with two suspension bridges and some ladders providing a little bit of via ferrata feeling. Meanwhile I have to run into the woods twice to deposit the entire contents of my intestines - obviously something wasn't quite right with my lunch... Unfortunately a rather unpleasant ending to a great day.

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"The highest via ferrata in Switzerland" isn't just a title. The Jegihorn Klettersteig is a real alpine route and properly deserves its status. The destroyed Zitterpartie variation is hardly missed, as the normal route follows a great line with plenty of challenges. The Jegihorn certainly belongs among the greatest via ferrata routes in Switzerland.

Hike partners: Stijn


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15 Sep 18
Klettersteig Jegihorn · D!nu
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